OIL giant Shell yesterday became one of the biggest victims of a shareholder revolt on executive pay as just under 60 per cent of investors voted against its pay policy.<br /><br />To a collective gasp at the company’s simultaneous annual meeting in London and the Hague, shareholders expressed their anger that in spite of Shell missing its target of outperforming three of its peers, Peter Job, chairman of Shell’s remuneration committee, had used “discretion” to award bonuses.<br /><br />The rare rebellion is the latest sign of increasing activism among institutional shareholders.<br /><br />There were also protests at fashion group Next and stockbroker Evolution yesterday. At Next’s annual meeting in Leicester 17 per cent of shareholders refused to support a move that changed the rules of its bonus scheme halfway through last year. While at stock broker Evolution 22 per cent of shareholders registered their disapproval of its pay scheme. The votes are only advisory and directors do not have to repay bonuses and other rewards that investors later vote against.<br /><br />“The votes show that shareholders want to hold remuneration committees to account. This is something for the companies to reflect upon,” said ABI head of investment affairs Peter Montagnon.